Duke’s EPL DFS Preview for Monday…
What a cracking start to the Premier League season! Of course, we haven’t seen everyone yet but already we can form some opinions about teams. Leeds are here to play. Liverpool still look ruthless in the final third. Arsenal might make the jump this year.
On Monday we will get a look at some new faces in the blue kit of Chelsea. I, for one, cannot wait so let’s get to it!
To the desert…
-Sheffield United +235 2 (+105o/-125u)
-Brighton +400 2.5,3 (-105o/-120u)
Is this a snooze fest waiting to happen? These teams played to a 1-0 Sheffield home win and a 1-1 draw at Wolves. The under is 2 with juice on the under. GOOD NIGHT!
In short, no I don’t think it will be a snooze fest but chances will be limited. Both teams will need to be efficient with any opportunities they grab but just like last year, I look to Sheffield United and say ‘go on then, grab a goal.’ They just need to manufacture more goals because they don’t have the individual talent to break down defenses on the dribble.
Part of the stalemate is the overlap in formation and tactics to an extent. Wolves will need to replace Doherty, who’s moved to Spurs. Traore and Jimenez are the danger men but they also added an exciting young talent from Porto who will likely be eased into the squad.
From a footballing purists perspective, I can’t wait to watch this battle. For neutrals, you might enjoy your meeting in the cubes more..
Chelsea beat Brighton once and tied the other game. The draw was away to Brighton but you can’t really look to last year’s results for any sort of indication of what will happen here. Chelsea have completely revamped their roster. They haven’t purchased squad depth. By my count they’ve added 5 World Class players to slot straight into the first 11. It’s how quickly these stars mesh that will determine their early season success.
Brighton aren’t very good and haven’t done anything to significantly improve their roster. Let’s touch on them briefly before delving into Chelsea. At home in 19/20, Brighton scored just 1.05 goals/game at home. They conceded nearly a goal and a half and took just over 1.16 pts/game at home, far less than the league average of 1.6 points. Add in the lack of fans and removing the “home field” advantage and I can’t see a way Brighton pip the points here.
Chelsea have played a risky and very expensive game. They certainly don’t lack ambition and what I like is that they’ve clearly defined a style of play that they want and gone out to buy players who match the system. Tammy Abraham is a lanky, tall, skinny forward who can have his moments but lacks the pace to get in behind. Enter Timo Werner. Callum Hudson-Odoi got a big paycheck off the back of a couple of decent games but has underperformed. Pedro and Willian left the club. Enter Kai Havertz, a legitimate wonderkind and future star who can get it done today. Emerson and Alonso were OK but one was inconsistent the latter only really fits a system Chelsea don’t play. Enter Ben Chilwell who’s premier league proven and a full England international. Where was Chelsea’s biggest weakness (besides GK) last year? Center back. You don’t get much more experienced and quality than Thiago Silva, fresh off a Champions League final appearance.
Honestly, this line should be much higher but injuries have ravaged the first 11 for Chelsea. No Thiago Silva. No Kovacic. Likely no Pulisic. No Chilwell. With it being the first game and so many new faces, a feeling out period wouldn’t surprise me but once they settle in you’ll need to hold on to your hat because it will be all gas, no breaks.
- Werner – CHE – $9.3k
This position is light in general. With a very low total in the Wolves/Sheffield Utd game, it’s fine to take this chance on a new player in a new league but on a big favorite. He’s not Jamie Vardy but is priced like him. He’s been clinical leading up the season and has been aroud the team for a few months after opting out of the Champions League run with Red Bull Leipzig. You can say he’s goal dependent but he does more than that. I’m locking him in for cash and GPP.
- Jota – WOL – $5.9k
We don’t quite know what’s going to happen with Traore. Does he fill in that gap for Doherty at the RWB? That hurts his value. If he does, that bumps the value of Jimenez/Jota as they’ll be the 2 players playing up top. At this price and in that situation he’s value for the $.
- Gross – BHA – $7.5k
Aaron Mooy is gone. Gross should start and take most if not all set pieces. You are paying for his floor but once again, this position isn’t teeming with talent. I expect 7-9 crosses from Gross with the upside of an assist. Last season he wasn’t shooting as often as I’d like. Let’s wait for team news but I’ll be banking salary for this match regardless.
- McBurnie – SHU – $5.4k
I asked the question, who scores for Sheffield. They spent the money to bring him in and the system isn’t so complex that he needs a ton of time to get him up to speed. I expect him to start and he’s the most likely to score.
- Traore – WOL – $8.4k
If he’s part of the front 2 I’ll have interest but I think he lines up at wing back so he’s mentioned but not preferred. Team news will dictate my interst.
- Mount – CHE – $7.4k
I want to grab pieces of Chelsea and this feels like cheaper exposure than some others. He’s been so up and down and his set piece equity is in question with all of the new faces. It’s a crowded midfield but with no Kovacic, he has a chance at 80+ minutes.
- Havertz – CHE – $9.8k
With so much value at the position, I’m afraid Havertz is going to be popular. At this price and with ownership I don’t love the play but he’s still at the top of my list. For now, he’s more GPP than cash but come Monday afternoon he might be both. If he plays the RW that’s good. If he plays as one of the 3 midfielders that does ding him a touch. Late in his Leverkusen career, all of his production came when he was played as a forward. Let’s see how he adapts to the Prem before paying this rate.
- Moutinho – WOL – $6k
Cash only but priced right on the nose of where he should be. There isn’t value here but there is safety in this play. A set piece could determine the winner of this game.
- Dendonker – WOL – $3k
Does he play in the midfield or back line? That determines his worth. If he’s in the midfield this is too cheap and 2-4x is realistic.
- Lallana – BHA – $3.1k
IF Gross isn’t taking set pieces it might be this new boy. I’m not 100% sure he starts but he was brought in to make an impact and provide that bit of guile in the final third that Brighton have lacked. He’s UBER cheap so my advice here is to build a lineup without him and know that we can pivot up/down to grab him if he starts.
- Kante – CHE – $3.4k
Thankfully Kante looks like he’s stopped being asked to be a playmaker and can simply win possession and pass it to someone who can actually do that. It hurts his fantasy value a touch but he’s still in the viable category.
There are so many potential fitness questions here. Team news will be important.
- Baldock – SHU – $4.7k
It’s splitting hairs between he and Stevens and frankly you can play both. These games where the systems are similar create for spectacular matchups across the ground. IF Traore lines up at RWB, that’s trouble for the LWB for Sheffield, hence my lean towards Baldock.
- Marcal – WOL – $5k
Looks like no Jonny so the new guy might slot right into the first 11. You are paying for it but we are buying this role in the system more than anything. He’s no different than Jonny/Doherty/Vinagre, etc. It’s minimal difference from a production standpoint.
- Boly – WOL – $3.2k
On a slate where the good guys are too expensive and the cheap guys aren’t very good, take the 6’4” guy who can jump out of the stratosphere. Decent chance at a CS here as well.
- Ampadu – SHU – $3k
I don’t know that he’ll be thrust right into the first 11 but we saw how effective these wide center backs can be with crosses in the box. He fills that LCB role perfectly.
- Azpilicueta – CHE – $5.8k
Chilwell is out and I believe Lampard trusts Emerson or Azpilicueta more at this left back position than Alonso. Regardless, I don’t love anyone they can possibly trot out there at these prices. .
- Ramsdale – SHU – $4.4k
I do have Wolves with the better chance to win but at this price and in his new team there is upside here. Sheffield are MUCH better than Bournemouth so maybe I was too quick to bury this kid.
- Patricio – WOL – $5k
I simply do not trust any GK on Chelsea’s roster so this is my spend up option.
- Ryan – BHA – $4k
Super punt with massive save upside. I don’t like this much but it’s not so much worse than Ramsdale that you need to rearrange your whole roster to find the extra $400. As usual, build your roster and if you find yourself off Chelsea, this is your natural GK selection.